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First there were Zombies; then came Hurricanes!

Categories: Natural Disasters, Zombies

Posted by: Craig Fugate, FEMA Administrator and Ali S. Khan, Assistant Surgeon General and Director, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, CDC

Evacuation route panel with stormy sky back drop

With June 1st only days away, FEMA, CDC and the rest of the team are busy preparing for the upcoming hurricane season. And now that you’ve taken the necessary precautions to prepare for a zombie apocalypse, you can start preparing for hurricane season, too. In recognition of Hurricane Preparedness Week, we want to remind you of some simple steps you can take. The same steps that we described in our zombie post (get a kit, make a plan, be informed) are key to getting prepared for a hurricane as well.

Picture of an emergency preparedness kit

Get a Kit and Stock Up

After a hurricane strikes, you may not have the convenience of your local supermarket or other supply stores that you visit on a regular basis. Therefore, it’s critical that you have the supplies you need to survive for at least 72 hours, like non-perishable food, water, prescription medications, batteries, baby supplies, phone chargers and inverters, and a first-aid kit. While you are gathering supplies, make sure that you also place an emergency kit in your car. Learn more about supplies you’ll need CDC.gov or Ready.gov.

Make a Plan With Your Family

Floodwaters after a hurricaneIt’s important to identify ahead of time where you and your family will go if you have to evacuate. If local officials order a mandatory evacuation in your area, you should follow this request and make plans for you and your family to leave. Sit down with your family now and decide whether you will evacuate to an out-of-town friend or relatives’ house, or if you will stay at a hotel in a safe place.

And when making your evacuation plan, don’t forget about your precious pets! You should make alternate housing arrangements for your pets in advance, since pet-friendly shelters may not be available during the emergency period. Identifying pet boarding facilities that are located along your evacuation route and outside of the danger zone are important steps to ensuring your pets will have a safe place to go. When evacuation orders are issued, you should call the boarder to ensure that they have availability. Here’s a useful checklist for your pets on Ready.gov, FEMA’s website for emergency preparedness.

Now that you have a plan for your family (including four-legged members), consider the following precautions before you evacuate:

  • Fill your car’s gas tank. If no vehicle is available, make arrangements with friends or family for transportation.
  • Prepare an emergency kit for your car with food, water, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, sleeping bags, etc.
  • Secure any items outside which may damage property in a storm, such as bicycles, grills, propane tanks, etc.
  • Cover windows and doors with plywood or boards or place large strips of masking tape or adhesive tape on the windows to reduce the risk of breakage and flying glass.
  • Adjust the thermostat on refrigerators and freezers to the coolest possible temperature.
  • Be sure to take your phone charger with you.

Tune In and Stay Informed

Satellite photo of hurricaneWhile the path of a hurricane is forecasted before it hits land, the situation can often change from one minute to the next. It’s important to be informed with a NOAA weather radio and educate yourself on hurricane-related terms that will be used throughout the season, such as:

  • Tropical storm watch – tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified coastal area within 48 hours.
  • Tropical storm warning – tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area within 36 hours.
  • Hurricane watchhurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified coastal area. This is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
  • Hurricane warninghurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. This is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

The National Hurricane Center provides a glossary on its Web site, so take some time and familiarize yourself with their Glossary of National Hurricane Center Terms.

While Hurricane Preparedness is a top priority and responsibility for FEMA and CDC, as well as other emergency management and public health agencies, it’s also each individual’s responsibility to ensure that they take the necessary steps to be prepared. You can learn more about Hurricane Preparedness at emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/ and www.Ready.gov/hurricanes.

Start a Conversation

Do you live in a hurricane prone area? Have you started preparing? Tell us what you are doing by submitting a blog comment, post to our Facebook page or Tweet to @CDCemergency using hashtag #hurricane.

To download a badge for your blog/website/email signature, get a widget, syndicate content, or other social media, visit: http://emergency.cdc.gov/socialmedia/hurricanes.asp

Public Comments

Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this blog is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

  1. May 26, 2011 at 3:51 pm ET  -   PAAM

    preparedness info is excellent. Zombie tag line is lame & a turnoff. too bad we the taxpayers paid big bucks for junk

    Link to this comment

  2. May 26, 2011 at 11:33 pm ET  -   joy owens

    hello thank you for this site. Are speakers for available for inservice home care staff on assisting patients to prepare?

    Link to this comment

  3. May 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm ET  -   Blog Administrator

    Thank you for reading and for your comment. We would like to let you know that this blog post used no additional resources. We used existing resources, staff, and platforms (e.g., blog site, Facebook, Twitter) to post and promote our message and spent $0 during the campaign.

    Stay tuned!

    Link to this comment

  4. May 27, 2011 at 5:21 pm ET  -   Dawn

    I thought the zombie stuff was all in good fun. It served its purpose – to increase awareness of the CDC website.

    Link to this comment

  5. May 28, 2011 at 8:51 am ET  -   Matt Roland

    We had a nursing home in one of the areas that was a direct hit for the recent tornadoes in the South. Thank goodness we had an adequate disaster preparedness plan. We lost power for several days. We got a large generator in and 500 gal fuel cells – 1 diesel for the generator, 1 gasoline for the staff to getback and forth to work because the gas stations had no power either. It was eye-opening. nursing home management

    Link to this comment

  6. May 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm ET  -   Rae

    I personally thought the Zombie Apocalypse hook was a stroke of genius. Glad to see people willing to think outside the box and get folks to the website for the good information. Keep up the good work!

    Link to this comment

  7. May 31, 2011 at 9:23 am ET  -   TK82

    In regard to PAAM’s comment. . . . Are you kidding? The Zombie Apocalypse was a brilliant idea. Two simple questions – How many under 30′s ever went to the CDC website to see advisory notices? (answer – almost 0) How many looked up and read the Zombie Apocalypse? (answer – it went viral) Brilliant way to get the preparedness message out. Great job CDC!

    Link to this comment

  8. May 31, 2011 at 9:43 am ET  -   Bob Webb

    Thanks for using your creativity with the Zombie post. I’ve heard people talking about it and thought it was a fun way to get out some important info.

    Link to this comment

  9. June 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm ET  -   lpkay

    Great job making public health and emergency preparedness approachable and fun.

    Link to this comment

  10. June 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm ET  -   Brianna

    This is very valuable information for the American public. Thanks to the assistance of the Surgeon General and the CDC, more men and women are able to make plans and be more prepared in case of a hurricane. I am a nursing student and we recently had a seminar on Disaster Management and many of these same strategies were discussed. It is especially pertinent to make sure that you have a half tank of gas in your vehicle at all times in case you are required to evacuate the area immediately. Also, there are many opportunities for nurses, health care professionals, and other volunteers to devote time and experience lending a hand to these areas after a disaster occur. People need to be educated about the necessary measures to take in time of crisis and this is why the CDC guidelines are of utmost importance.

    Link to this comment

  11. June 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm ET  -   rhondabm

    I loved it! Not that anyone will prepare til there is already a Zombie in the Gulf but… Great way to make folks aware. LOL

    Link to this comment

  12. June 2, 2011 at 4:52 pm ET  -   Nacho

    it’s a joke right?

    greetings from Argentina

    Link to this comment

  13. June 2, 2011 at 6:45 pm ET  -   fitness singles

    hey great blog feel free to grab future content via our great rss feed

    Link to this comment

  14. June 2, 2011 at 11:48 pm ET  -   Faheem

    This is really a nice post , one should prepare for any kind of emergency, this is such a nice post.

    Link to this comment

  15. June 3, 2011 at 1:06 pm ET  -   Clare

    This year the national weather service is predicting 3 to 6 major hurricanes. If you live on the coastline, you should always prepare each season. In a recent disaster seminar for nursing students we learned you can never be too prepared. Good tips are: always have your gas tank at least 1/2 full, keep an extra 5 gallons of gas in the garage if possible, and most importantly: design an emergency plan with your family. Specific tips for when there is risk of flood:
    1. Clear drains, gutters and downspouts of debris and make sure your yard’s grading (slope) directs water away from the building.
    2. Anchor fuel tanks. An unanchored tank can be torn free by floodwaters, and the broken supply line can cause contamination, or if outdoors, can be swept downstream and damage other homes.
    3. Buy and install sump pumps with backup power where needed. Regularly check to make sure they are working.
    4. Cut off electrical service at the main breaker if the electrical system and outlets will be underwater.
    from weather.com

    Link to this comment

  16. June 5, 2011 at 11:04 pm ET  -   Nicole B

    I am a nursing student and I recently attended a lecture/seminar on disaster management. This information is helpful for people who live in areas where hurricanes are likely and may not know how to prepare. Having a plan in place for your family and having supplies available to you if the disaster does come is extremely important to ensure the safety of you and your family. Knowing where nearby shelters are is important for people who may not be able to leave the area. Always remembering to keep at least a half tank of gas is another important tip and knowing where the evacuation route is ahead of time in case the storm comes faster than anticipated. If you are working in a place like a hospital and cannot leave, it is important to go over this plan with your family and make sure that arrangements are made ahead of time. Each year, the plan should be revised and the supplies should be checked and possibly restocked.

    Link to this comment

  17. July 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm ET  -   Jim Lee

    I think it is good post, providing awareness to common people. Good job.

    Link to this comment

  18. August 6, 2011 at 8:57 pm ET  -   billyjoe

    Let’s see the good point of this. The information provided here can be very useful to prepare the worst situation.

    regards,
    berita

    Link to this comment

  19. August 12, 2011 at 9:50 am ET  -   Miss Fashion

    All three steps are very useful! I come from Guangdong Maoming, which is a fashion city! It is littoral and it often has Typhoons same as hurricane during summer. In that weather, these information is very helpful! Thank you!

    Link to this comment

  20. August 19, 2011 at 1:21 am ET  -   Como Subir la Masa Muscular

    This information is helpful for people who live in areas where hurricanes are likely and may not know how to prepare. Having a plan in place for your family and having supplies available to you if the disaster does come is extremely important to ensure the safety of you and your family. Knowing where nearby shelters are is important for people who may not be able to leave the area. Always remembering to keep at least a half tank of gas is another important tip and knowing where the evacuation route is ahead of time in case the storm comes faster than anticipated.
    Jesus Castillo Como Subir la Masa Muscular

    Link to this comment

  21. August 20, 2011 at 12:05 am ET  -   Mark B

    This was a great read. Very simple and neat idea to create awareness of hurricanes with an attractive title and side report.

    Link to this comment

  22. August 22, 2011 at 4:25 pm ET  -   Jenny

    Hey thanks for these wonderful tips. Where I live we constantly get tornado sirens during this time of the year. Just a few months ago, a tornado tore through one of the major towns and created a huge mess of things. I’ll be sure to put these tips to good use.

    Jenny

    Link to this comment

  23. August 29, 2011 at 9:04 pm ET  -   Subir Volumen Muscular

    Great website. Knowing where nearby shelters are is important for people who may not be able to leave the area. Always remembering to keep at least a half tank of gas is another important tip and knowing where the evacuation route is ahead of time in case the storm comes faster than anticipated. Good Work.
    Jesus Castillo Subir Volumen Muscular

    Link to this comment

  24. August 31, 2011 at 12:05 am ET  -   French Furniture

    This year the national weather service is predicting 3 to 6 major hurricanes. If you live on the coastline, you should always prepare each season. In a recent disaster seminar for nursing students we learned you can never be too prepared. Good tips are: always have your gas tank at least 1/2 full, keep an extra 5 gallons of gas in the garage if possible, and most importantly: design an emergency plan with your family. Specific tips for when there is risk of flood:
    1. Clear drains, gutters and downspouts of debris and make sure your yard’s grading (slope) directs water away from the building.
    2. Anchor fuel tanks. An unanchored tank can be torn free by floodwaters, and the broken supply line can cause contamination, or if outdoors, can be swept downstream and damage other homes. “And it has come to pass already…”

    Link to this comment

  25. September 2, 2011 at 4:56 am ET  -   Veronika

    I even don’t want to thing how many people still believe in zombies :) Especially in US. It is even not funny.

    Link to this comment

  26. September 5, 2011 at 8:49 am ET  -   Niko From Jenn Air BBQ Grills

    great stuff you guys…

    Link to this comment

  27. September 14, 2011 at 11:53 am ET  -   plasterers

    We had a nursing home in one of the areas that was a direct hit for the recent tornadoes in the South. Thank goodness we had an adequate disaster preparedness plan. We lost power for several days. We got a large generator in and 500 gal fuel cells – 1 diesel for the generator, 1 gasoline for the staff to getback and forth to work because the gas stations had no power either. It was eye-opening.

    Link to this comment

  28. September 14, 2011 at 2:48 pm ET  -   Jonathan

    Great information here on ways to prepare for unexpected disasters. Nice attention grabbing title. I think no matter how much we prepare withh all the necessary equipments and foods, we also need to be fit for us to be able to move quickly when disasters stike. Doing regular exercise will have huge benefits.

    Link to this comment

  29. September 17, 2011 at 1:09 am ET  -   photoshop updates

    wow good site i got a good information

    Link to this comment

  30. September 20, 2011 at 6:11 pm ET  -   Pedometer Watches

    This is an excellent article thank you. I keep putting off completing a disaster package and strategy. This will motivate me and you have some great tips. One tip I didn’t see was to keep a pair of shoes near the bed, in case of a disaster at night. That way you don’t have to worry about walking on broken glass.

    Link to this comment

  31. October 31, 2011 at 2:25 am ET  -   Nike Shox Dreams Shoes

    Thank you for sharing this article.It is great! There are some information which will help me very much. As you gain expertise, Very helpful post! It is extremely helpful for me. It is good idea.

    Link to this comment

  32. November 22, 2011 at 4:05 am ET  -   proviron

    whoah this blog is great i like reading your articles. Keep up the great paintings! You know, a lot of individuals are looking around for this info, you can aid them greatly.

    Link to this comment

  33. December 12, 2011 at 8:46 am ET  -   Jason

    Awesome. great to read it. i am in planning to my eLearning seminar and i get may help from this article.

    Link to this comment

  34. December 19, 2011 at 9:35 pm ET  -   mike jones

    Can tht really happen

    Link to this comment

  35. January 12, 2012 at 2:53 am ET  -   manoj

    good article

    Link to this comment

  36. February 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm ET  -   curtis

    if u do have a zombie desease that would be awesome if u plz released it i would love to use my zombie plan

    Link to this comment

  37. February 5, 2012 at 8:14 am ET  -   curtis

    well i would like zombies this year and i know a lot of people that want zombies and zombies r real there is just a few times they have been created in history though

    Link to this comment

  38. February 22, 2012 at 8:17 am ET  -   Archer

    It had been nice to study through your post. I really appreciated the few minutes that I spent reading through it and want to leave a comment to mention that….Best wishes

    Link to this comment

  39. March 22, 2012 at 8:08 pm ET  -   surfactant

    I found some wonderful info in your site and bookmarked to visit again . Thanks.

    Link to this comment

  40. May 31, 2012 at 2:09 am ET  -   Max

    I know what your doing, and I want you to evacuate where you know it’s going down before you screw up…big time. And can’t handle it just, it’s messed up to play it like that, bath salts and ur little play about it being in southeast oh wheres it going down then, walking dead etc. come get me and my girl outta Atlanta then, oh wait your based here? Are we just part of the quarantine tho right? And it won’t matter if infected or not. U can’t leave.

    Link to this comment

  41. June 22, 2012 at 7:57 pm ET  -   Wenda pearce

    Always ensure your first aid is up to scratch and you have adequate supplies on hand to deal with emergencies and dangerous situations!

    Link to this comment

  42. September 14, 2012 at 1:40 pm ET  -   Erik

    And then…. no tsunami… no storm… but no rain… this is what happening in Eastern Canada…. Rivers are so low that outfitters had to refund clients… Salmons stay in the sea and die before reproduction.

    Erik
    http://www.rapidwaterscamp.ca

    Link to this comment

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